A pair of new lifts has been installed at Meols station to improve accessibility for those travelling on the Merseyrail network.
The £2.2 million project was funded through the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Access for All programme and forms part of a wider project funded by both the DfT and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
Offering step-free access across the station, these new lifts make it easier to reach the platforms making travelling via Meols station an option for those previously been unable to do so.
The lifts were officially unveiled on Friday 28 February by Meols station volunteers Friends of Hoylake and Meols in Bloom and Wirral Mayor Tony Smith along with Merseyrail Managing Director Andy Heath.
The Access for All programme was introduced to make travelling more convenient for disabled passengers travelling by train across the country, and previous projects on the Merseyrail network include lift installations at Formby, Birkenhead North and Orrell Park.
This work will complement the introduction of the new, state-of-the-art trains with pioneering sliding step technology which will begin later in the year.
From 2020 further lifts will be installed at Hillside, Hunts Cross, St Michaels and Birkenhead Park, with a vision to provide a fully accessible rail service right across the network in the future.
Andy Heath, Managing Director for Merseyrail, said: “The introduction of new lifts at Meols station adds to our credentials as one of the most accessible rail networks in the UK and forms a key part of a broader programme of accessibility work including the roll-out of the new fleet of trains later this year.
“It’s fantastic to be able to offer lifts at Meols station that will significantly improve the experience of our customers with mobility needs and those travelling with young children or luggage.
“Ensuring the people of the Liverpool City Region can use our trains and travel with ease is of paramount importance, and providing an accessible rail service helps us to achieve this.”
Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder said:
“It’s great that we can now offer step free access for those who may have formerly been put off using the station because of mobility problems, or by having to manoeuvre pushchairs and prams on the stairs.
“We are committed to encouraging people to use the train and to reduce their carbon footprint, and these lifts, coupled with the roll out of our new fully accessible trains from later this year, will make it easier for more people to use Meols station.”
Merseyrail offers an assisted travel service for customers who need help when travelling. The service can be contacted via the Merseyrail website at www.merseyrail.org or by phone on 0151 555 1111 (Monday-Friday 7am-7pm).